The International Foodservice Editorial Council (IFEC) announced the election of officers and board members for 2014. The new officers are Sam Oches, president; Rachel Tracy, vice president; Pat Cobe, secretary; and Alexei Rudolf, treasurer. Four members were elected to fill openings on the board of directors. They are Tara Fitzpatrick, associate editor of Food Management magazine in Cleveland; Cathy Holley, publisher/editor-in-chief of Flavor & The Menu magazine, based in Portland, Maine; Mallory Jensen, senior supervisor for bigInk, a Dallas-based public relations agency; and Bill Schreiber, a public relations consultant in Chicago.

“The new leaders bring a wealth of editorial and foodservice communications experience to IFEC. They are all tops in their fields,” says outgoing president Jeffrey Yarbrough, CEO of bigInk. Officers are elected to one-year terms while directors serve for three years. Elections were held during IFEC’s annual conference in Portland, Oregon, October 28–30, 2013.

Incoming president Sam Oches is the editor of QSR magazine, a leading trade publication serving the quick-service and fast-casual restaurant industries. QSR has achieved record website traffic and been named a top 10 national magazine by ASBPE during Sam’s tenure as editor, and, as an expert in foodservice trends, his insights have been shared in national media outlets such as the Chicago Tribune, USA Today, National Public Radio, and CNBC. A graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, Sam previously served as editor in chief of Southeast Ohio magazine and as associate editor and managing editor of QSR. He has served for two years on the board of directors for IFEC and also writes a quarterly newsletter for Duke Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Hematology-Oncology unit. Sam lives in Durham, North Carolina, with his wife Katie.

Rachel Tracy is an account manager at Olson Communications and the managing director of the Culinary Visions Panel, a branded insights practice of Olson. She manages a wide range of clients that include: The Cheesecake Factory Bakery, Saputo Cheese USA, and Blue Marble Brands. Rachel writes the Y-Pulse and Culinary Visions annual trend forecasts for the foodservice industry, and has been quoted in trade publications as an expert on trends. Rachel also heads up the Chefs of Tomorrow program for culinary educators for Olson Communications. She is actively engaged in the Chicago community in a nutrition literacy program at the McCormick Boys & Girls Club supported by Les Dames d’Escoffier. In addition to IFEC, she belongs to the International Association for Culinary Professionals (IACP) and is the communication chair of the Chicagoland Food Executive Women’s Group (FEW).

Pat Cobe is senior editor of Restaurant Business magazine, covering food and beverage trends, menu innovation, profiles of chefs and restaurateurs, and marketing and lifestyle features. She also creates content for and is editor of the e-newsletter, Recipedia. In her previous life, Pat worked for several consumer magazines, including Good Housekeeping, Scholastic, Ladies’ Home Journal, and Women's Day. She even crossed over to the PR side in her role as editorial director at Lewis & Neale. Pat is the co-author of the Mompreneurs series of books as well as two published cookbooks. She graduated from Cornell University and earned a Masters in Journalism from Boston University. Pat lives in Chicago.

Alexei Rudolf is the principal at Foodservice Connections LLC, a foodservice marketing and public relations consultancy in San Francisco. Prior to founding Foodservice Connections LLC, Alexei spent the better part of a decade at global firms Ketchum and Edelman Public Relations in San Francisco, at the latter heading up the agency’s domestic foodservice practice. In addition to being a member for the past 10 years, Alexei was a panel moderator for IFEC at the 2008 National Restaurant Association Show, and served as IFEC’s president during the 50th anniversary year. He is now serving a second board term. 

The newly elected officers and directors join these board members in making up IFEC’s 2014 governing body: Sherise Jones, USA Onions, Parma, Idaho; Kelly Ruschman, Scott Advertising, Milwaukee; Jody Shee, a writer/editor based in Olathe, Kansas; Barry Shuster, Restaurant Startup & Growth, Cary, North Carolina; outgoing president Jeffrey Yarbrough; and advisor Don Odiorne, Idaho Potato Commission, Eagle, Idaho.

IFEC is a 250-member professional association that brings foodservice editors and public relations and marketing communications professionals together to exchange ideas and share resources. Editor members are the voices of the leading print and digital magazines, while PR members represent key suppliers, restaurants, non-commercial operations, trade groups, and more. Through education and networking activities, tuition assistance for members’ continuing education, and scholarships for students preparing for foodservice communications careers, the association strives to encourage high professional and aesthetic standards among those working in and with the foodservice media and the entry of high-caliber individuals into the field. IFEC is celebrating its 57th anniversary this year.